Beginning November, I hopped on a plane to Lisbon to attend Web Summit. The trip wasn’t planned and sorted out almost last-minute. I traveled for business purposes and since I haven’t experienced the conference before, I didn’t really know what to expect.

The number of participants (ca 50 000 – a size of a small town!) scared me a little at the first sight, so I tried to prepare as much as I could in the run-up.

This approach paid off when speaking about the actual outcomes. Following points are my personal glimpse on the whole week & the city of Lisbon.

Conference complex is huge

MEO arena was built back in 1998 for Expo purposes and the whole complex consisted of 3 other huge pavilions full of stages and exhibitors. The whole place was gigantic so next time make sure you have allocated enough time between meetings for logistic purposes.

Short talks

I haven’t seen any of the talks in full, but heard just a little part of few (one of them was a discussion on messenger/bots with David Marcus from FB) – and they were not much of a value. The debates went short and not deep. Consider consumption of this type of content in a quiet place at home. 🙂 I definitely prefer this approach. Too many distractions and FOMO when you have an access to so many interesting people!

Make most of the meetings during the day

As I mentioned, the number of participants – around 50 000, makes the gathering interesting and valuable – only if you actually act on it. Schedule the meetings with professionals you might have common interests within the app and exchange your other contact (email/number) as soon as possible. It happened the internet/official app was not working within the arena. Play safe at least some proportion of your time and let serendipity do the rest.

Pink street has an esprit

Night summit had actually 2 locations – I took a stroll and went to see both on the first night. The Bairro Alto area was much fragmented and I felt the Pink street had a great vibe. I’ve spent the rest of the nights in the area meeting great people,  eating octopus salad and drinking ginger ale. Street party occasionally ended up at the dedicated, branded indoor parties or regular local disco clubs.

Boost effect

Web Summit effect might bring the city into the spotlight. While there aren’t many tech companies, it’ll be interesting to keep eye on the region. From my discussions with the locals, Porto is undergoing a boost, where the city gets investments and apart from other tech businesses is a base for a unicorn such as Farfetch. I’m curious to see if Lisbon becomes a base for  new startups or a

Working in Lisbon?

Living the last half year in a ‘Harry Potter weather’ in London made me think of evaluating the lifestyle in a permanent cold. London is the city of (almost) indefinite opportunities, full of niches in the market you’ll likely find in a few places in the world. At the same time- born as a continental European – I’ve never experienced living by the sea – which I enjoy so badly! Are you already working in Lisbon? Running a startup in Lisbon? I’d love to hear your perspective!

 

Postcard.

 

Until then, enjoy these few shots I made back in November!

Adeus!

 

Lisbon city.
Heaven.

Full MEO arena.
Suffering from romance deprivation? Look at this.
City.
Tram and the night.
Azulejas all over the city.
The city.

 

Could it get any nicer?
Enjoying the sun.
People lining up in front of the original pastel de nata factory – Pasteis de Belem
NightSummit at Pink street. Full house! Street actually.
Love the voyage aesthetics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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